This rambling, incoherent excuse for a post is brought to you by Daylight Saving Time

March 14, 2012 | 30 comments


I wrote this great post for today. It was called The Five Stages of Daylight Saving Time, in which I laid out the zombie-saga that is me and my five young kids getting adjusted to the new time, complete with references to the humorous / surprising / macabre fallout that this vile event has caused this time around. After spending a high percentage of my free time on this project, an ominous feeling of familiarity descended upon me as I realized: I already wrote this for the Register last year.


You know what’s worse than Daylight Saving Time when you have five young kids? Daylight Saving Time when you’re traveling during the time change.


You know what’s worse than Daylight Saving Time when you’re traveling during the time change? When you’re traveling during the time change and half of your timekeeping devices auto-update for the new time, half don’t, you don’t know which is which, and you’re with someone who is in the same situation but is from a different time zone.

I cannot explain to you the madness that was Saturday night at 1:00 AM. Actually, I don’t know if it was 1:00 AM. It may have been midnight. Or 2:00. Or an undefined point in an timeless alternate universe that I had stumbled into because my hotel room door led to a wormhole in the space-time continuum.

You see, Hallie and I had been chatting with some friends in our hotel room after the Behold Conference. When everyone left late into the night, it was time to figure out what time I needed to get up in order to make my flight. The following conversation ensued:

Me: What time does your phone clock say?

Hallie: One-fifteen.

Me: That must be new time, right?

Hallie: Wait. That can’t be right, because that’s what the hotel clock radio says too. There’s no way the clock radio would auto-update to new time, right?

Me: Okay. That has to be wrong. My clock says one-fifteen too, but it said twelve forty-five thirty minutes ago, so if it auto-updated it should say two-fifteen, right?

Hallie: My computer says it’s two-fifteen.

Me: But your computer is on Eastern time.

Hallie: Right. But it might have auto-updated for Daylight Saving Time.

Me: But we’re on Central time here. So if it auto-updated, then it should say three-fifteen.

Hallie: Do you think it knows I’m in a new time zone?

Me: Maybe. But does that mean it’s two-fifteen here or on Eastern time? And would that be old time or new time?

Hallie: What if it did update my time zone but didn’t update for Daylight Saving Time?

Me: [Clawing at my eyes and screaming as my brain melts within my skull.]

I’m telling you, it was as if we’d been flung into a dimension where time no longer existed. If there had been an analog clock on the wall, I’m sure it would have been spinning backwards to complete the tableau of utter madness. When I tried to call the front desk to get the right time and they didn’t answer, I resolved that I may be taking a cab from Peoria to Austin since I would never, ever be able to figure out what time it was again.


Now I’m back at home and it’s Spring Break, which is both a good thing and a bad thing. I had all these elaborate visions that we would homeschool through the vacation to get a leg up on the end of the semester; that I would use the extra time to tackle some exciting home improvement projects; that we’d take some fun and educational day trips, perhaps to the local children’s museum; that we’d get out of bed before, say, ten o’clock (in my defense: that’s new time!); that I would change out of my pajamas before noon (new time!); that I would do something other than shuffle around the house in a glassy-eyed daze, twitching and muttering about “old time” and “new time.”


All this is to say: If there are any typos in this post; if I seem irritable or uncharitable; if I am slow to respond to emails, tweets, or direct messages; if I start repinning stuff on Pinterest that I usually skip because, while it is utterly hilarious, it uses the f-word three times; if I appear to be anything other than a saintly, gracious, perfectly put-together woman, I want you to know:



  1. Susan

    Jen, sorry for your suffering. I almost hate to mention that I come through the spring DST change unscathed. I slept in a little on Sunday morning and then in the evening said to myself, “Hooray, more light!” Fall is another matter. It’s like a huge step into the abyss of darkness mitigated only a little by Christmas lights. I might have a little seasonal affective disorder. In fact, I recently changed my Gmail background to plain yellow because it bugged me how my tea house scene was getting dark at night, just when I wanted to see some sunshine. I also don’t like the Gmail backgrounds that reflect the current weather. When it’s raining out, I want to see some sunshine. I wonder if I’m the only one whose mood was affected by the Gmail themes.

  2. Holly Rutchik

    Haha – I had the same convo with my friend in the same hotel on Sat. night. Uggg. and then I got home to find kids messed up by the time change and the flu. Daylight savings is clearly meant for people without kids. Or it’s some kind of trick on those who pro-create. It was lovely to meet you at the conference. What’s that you say, you met so many people you don’t recall me? No prob, I get it. I was the dork sitting in the back who you kindly introduced yourself to only for me to stare at you like you’re a monster or body snatcher of some sort. Sigh. I suck at speaking to people I admire. Consider it a flattery? (please, oh please?) 🙂 Hope the time change takes less time to set itself in your kids than mine. It is more than likely 2 weeks of hell over here.

  3. Sue

    I keep reading posts about the horrors of DST. I don’t get it. I have lived in Japan for nearly 18 years with no DST, and I still miss it! I think it beats getting a rude awakening by blinding, hot sunlight every morning at 4:30am all. summer. long. A true pain for one like me, who wakes with the sun with no hope of getting back to sleep, no matter the time. I’ll take a weekend of befuddlement over that for sure!

  4. Sara H

    Another lover of DST here, though I admit this week has not passed without wailing and gnashing of teeth (I won’t say who was doing the wailing 😉 ) Unfortunately, I live in Indiana a state which previously only utilized DST in 2 corners and about 5 years ago adopted for the whole state. When they put us on the map, we were put into eastern time and not central. That is really my only beef with it. Love the late days!
    FYI When I entered the captcha code I saw, it gave me an error twice, so I played the audio…didn’t match. Must be the time change!

  5. Paul Forgette

    Number III was like listening a George Burns and Gracie Allen routine.

    Thank you for a Wednesday morning laugh!

    “Say goodnight Jennifer …”

  6. Colleen Martin

    That hotel room time change story made me literally laugh out loud. And I’m at work. Which means now people are either looking at me like I’m crazy or trying to decide whether to tell the boss that I’m not really working. But that story was so worth it.

  7. Shealynn

    Lifesaver? Just Google “time.”

    It will tell you what time it is, right there on the results page.

    And if you’re still not sure, Google “time ____whatever time zone you’re in_____”

    This made me LAUGH like CRAZY!!!

  8. Anne

    I love my evening daylight, so I’ve always been willing to pony up the extra hour of sleep in exchange for an 8:00 sunset (9:30 in summer!) But this year, the trade hasn’t been worth it. I’m TIRED.

    But at least I wasn’t traveling 🙂

  9. Hallie Lord

    The most hilarious part of all of this, Jen? If it was 1:15 AM (which I think it was) the time hadn’t even changed yet! It doesn’t change until 2 AM!

    • Jen G

      Odd, but my phone (which I use as an alarm) had already rolled forward by the time I went to bed that evening….around 9:15 PM (or 10:15 new time).

    • Martha

      Exactly. That was what I was going to say. Your phone clock or atomic clock will go from 1:59 am to 3:00. It doesn’t jump *officially* until 2am.

  10. Michelle

    Ha! love this. DST doesn’t bother me much if I don’t have a newborn. And while my Vincent is just a week younger than your baby, he’s gotten the sleeping thing down and he slept in Sunday so we were all good for the day and transition this go-round.

    Your posts on this topic always make me laugh. Love them.

  11. Brian Sullivan

    Theological lesson: No you know why God exists outside of Time. Or maybe in Arizona…

  12. Tara S

    AUGH thank you! I, also, blame Daylight Savings Time.

  13. drustee

    Hmm. What about the old fashioned wrist watch? You’d know whether you’d updated that or not…

  14. nancyo

    When in doubt, will tell you all. You can click on the “world clock” tab to get time anywhere, and also check for dates of daylight savings time (different in various parts of the world), phases of the moon, and a lot more.

    And fwiw, I find that my phone will auto-update for time zones and DST and my computer does not change for time zones but does auto-update for DST.

    My husband dislikes DST as much as you do; he won’t feel “right” until it changes back. He’s been living on the West Coast, and this weekend he flew East on a redeye, lost 3 hours to the travel then another hour to daylight savings time and he is a total waste product.

  15. Leila

    Such a simple solution. Move to Arizona. We laugh in the face of DST, when we even remember what the heck it is.

  16. Amy F

    My 19 month old has shifted 3 hours instead of 1 and yesterday woke up at 10:00am and went to be at 10:45pm. Today we managed to get up at 8:45am and I’m going to try to get him to nap now, at 12:30, instead of yesterday’s 5:30pm or the day before’s 7:30pm. So. Messed. Up.

    And Sunday we fly to Florida, so who knows what schedule we’ll be on then.

  17. Jennifer D.

    My alarm clock, blackberry and computer ALL apparently change on their own. But I wasn’t sure of that on Saturday night. So I went to the kitchen and set the microwave clock to the “new” time…or so I thought. I woke up Sunday and the microwave clock was the same as the stove clock, which were both an hour behind the 3 clocks in my bedroom. I wasn’t sure which ones had changed, and I was NOT interested in going out to my car to see what that clock said. Of course, Google saved the day…again. It’s definitely a really ODD feeling not knowing what time it is. Funny! 🙂

  18. syd


  19. Jane

    I experienced something similar – attended the Canadian Catholic Youth Ministry Network’s conference in Ottawa over the weekend. Funny thing is, I live in Saskatchewan where they don’t do DST. I feel thwarted.

  20. Carmelita Baza

    Hi Jennifer,

    Just wanted to let you know that this South Texas mom of five is also draggin’ trying to adjust to the time change. Not looking forward to getting up at 6am (new time) this coming Monday to get the kids off to school. Is it too late to home school? At least until I stop feeling like a zombie?? Oh wait, I’m a mom blessed with five children. I always feel a bit exhausted but thats ok. God bless you and your family and thanks for this great blog.

  21. Martha

    Oh! I’m so relieved that someone else has Daylight Savings Time woes! I barely got through the time change/weather change from cool to unseasonably warm (I live in the Chicago suburbs) and then Daylight Savings Time. Alas! I’m just now beginning to adjust.

  22. Diane Kavanaugh

    Thanks to company and phone calls I never got around to a shower Saturday night, but No Problem! I thought, I’ll just set the alarm for 7am and have a leisurely morning before mass. After smacking the snooze button a couple of times, I was up and drinking coffee by 7:25am. As I enjoyed the warm brownness of my sugary cup, I checked email and Facebook and thought about what I would have for breakfast. (I never have time for breakfast before mass)

    Computer stuff done, I sauntered through the living room towards the kitchen and caught sight of the cable box. 8:47!!! How long was I on FB? I looked at my cup. Only 1/3 of the coffee was gone. Something wasn’t right. That’s when the light bulb in my head started flashing. DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!! ARRGGHH. Instead of 2 lazy hours to get ready, I now had about 45 minutes and it takes all of those minutes for me to get ready. (Yes, I’m slow, but I’m a grandma, I get to be slow.) And with the fasting rule, I only had time for one more gulp of coffee and no breakfast. Once again my stomach would be growling as I received the host.

    What’s that saying? While we make plans, God laughs.

  23. Laura

    So funny! specially number III. I can’t even imagine how confusing it was to try to figure out the actual time, thank for making me laugh.

  24. Beth Anne @ The Catholic Couponer Blog

    That was just too funny to read. You know what is REALLy bad to go to the weekend of the time change…a college retreat…talk about lack of sleep. But we were almost late to our lease signing because not all our stuff changed. Get this my cellphone didn’t auto change but my alarm clock did!

  25. Karyn18

    For me it’s better to have a DST in our country to consume more of the daytime. But we will be force to change our body clock too.

  26. Trisha Niermeyer Potter @ Prints of Grace

    Wow! In your defense that would have been very difficult to try and figure out especially so late at night. So which of the electronics were correct for your particular time zone at that location? Just curious?

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site



The "THIS IS JEN" podcast is on Facebook & all podcast apps


- Subscribe on iTunes or Google Play (audio)

- Get weekly bonus episodes on Patreon

- Sign up for my email list to be the first
to know about new tour dates